Synchronic and Diachronic Responsibility

Philosophical Studies 165 (3):735-752 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper distinguishes between synchronic responsibility (SR) and diachronic responsibility (DR). SR concerns an agent’s responsibility for an act at the time of the action, while DR concerns an agent’s responsibility for an act at some later time. While most theorists implicitly assume that DR is a straightforward matter of personal identity, I argue instead that it is grounded in psychological connectedness. I discuss the implications this distinction has for the concepts of apology, forgiveness, and punishment as well as the way in which this distinction can be used to defend quality of will accounts of responsibility against objections involving psychological manipulation. I argue that the intuition that a manipulated agent is not responsible can be explained by appeal to the conditions of DR and, as such, does not unproblematically shed light on the conditions of SR.

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Andrew Khoury
Arizona State University

Citations of this work

Responsibility From the Margins.David Shoemaker - 2015 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Is Blameworthiness Forever?Andrew C. Khoury & Benjamin Matheson - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2):204-224.
Collective moral agency and self-induced moral incapacity.Niels de Haan - 2023 - Philosophical Explorations 26 (1):1-22.
Moral responsibility.Andrew Eshleman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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